Posts tagged #love

The 7 traits of highly magic people

1) You know you're magic.

 

This is the big one.  In their heart of hearts, everyone is magic.  But most folks just don't know it.  It's very sad, and it's not their fault.  They've had the awareness beaten out of them one way or another.  Our society is tres anti-magic.

Part of the mission of magic people is to help folks still stuck in the clay (that's my way of saying "folks steeped in naive materialism or fundamentalism and unaware of their innate magic-ness") understand that magic is real and within them, too.

But basically, if you know you're magic, you're ahead of the game.  Which means you don't really need this article - but look, it's the internet and we're just having fun.

Magic people.

2) Synchronicities happen for you - a lot.

 

And they tend to speed up when you spend a lot of time on meditation, art, ritual, intentional movement or prayer.  Sometimes they're just cute or silly, but often they're life-changing and dramatic.

The biggest synchronous thing that can happen to a magic person, in my humble opinion, is meeting another magic person.  Or a whole enclave of them.  It's thrilling.  It's overwhelming. It's love.

When lots of synchronicities are going on, I like to say "the jewel net is moving." Because we're all jewels in an infinitely connected web of silken joy.  And sometimes the net shifts and folds in on itself and we run smack into a whole bunch of other jewels. And it's great.

3. You're sensitive to seasons and lunar cycles.

 

The more magic you are (and remember, being magic is mainly a matter of... knowing that you're magic) the more energies of light and the two big cosmic lamps in our region (the sun and moon) affect your business.

You might find that you can't sleep on full moon nights (all that energy, so ramped up!) and that you go through epic mythopoetic cycles of emotional birth and death as spring turns to summer turns to fall turns to winter.

4. You have very vivid dreams.

 

Magic people have at least partially-developed aetheric bodies.  This means, at the very least, that one or more of their chakras (Rudolf Steiner liked to call them "lotus flowers") are open and active.

Maybe you're a magic person with a giant, pulsing, highly-empathic heart chakra. Or maybe your third eye is open and you have an easy time seeing the visionary fluid dance of all things.

At the highly-developed end of the spectrum, magic people have fully-formed aetheric bodies that can freely navigate the astral planes.

But having your aetheric sense perceptions open, even a little bit, means that you can see more vividly in the nighttime dream world than others can.  So, you got that goin' for you. Which is nice.

5.  When you fall in love, it's psychedelic.

 

Forget a loaf of bread, a jug of wine and thou.  When a magic person falls in love (very probably with another magic person), it's more like a sheet of acid, a gallon of mushroom tea and thou.  And I'm not saying that actual drugs are involved.

I'm saying that the intensity of dopamine and oxytocin rushes, in magic brains, tends to produce more than just sexy-cozy-attachment.

They tend to also unleash psychic perception (you can read your lover's thoughts - like, for reals - not just "I was thinking of you!" "I knew you were thinking of me, baby. 'Cause I was thinking of you!"), encounters with your lover in the nighttime dream world, ecstatic sex that ruptures the boundaries of your identity, and other fun stuff.

Also, be careful with all that. It can get hairy if your lover happens to be one of those not-really-very-stable-or-sane magic people. Of which there are quite a few.

Magic people fall in love and it's all like, whoah.

 

6. You have an abundance of prana.

 

Or creative energy. Or genius, or whatever you want to call it.

Wilhelm Reich called it "orgone." Kant called it "Geist." Emerson called it "Soul." Mezmer called it "animal magnetism." It's sexual energy which transmutes into different feeling-tones when centered in different chakras and channels in the body.

In other words - even though it's sexual energy, your abundant prana doesn't necessarily feel "sexy" (although it probably does in spring and summer).  It might just feel buzz-y or space-y or urgently creative.

You get seized with the need to write that poem, plan that ritual, record that song, make those spicy ginger fudge brownies. It's implacable.

Also, no matter what you look like, folks tell you that you're "hot." And they mean it. You are. You radiate the light and heat of the cosmos. You're a star, you magic darling.

7. You love to spread the magic around.

 

Your chief motive for making art, cooking great food, tending your garden, whatever - isn't to be rich or famous. Though that could be cool.

It's to spread the magic around, because you just can't stand not doing it.  The magic is so fun, so beautiful, so warm, so true.

It drives you a little crazy when you can totally see the magic in someone, and they can't see it in themselves.

It drives you maybe even more crazy when you can totally see the magic in the world, and the world at large seems not to tenderly care for and appreciate its magic.

So you put a goodly amount of effort everyday into doing stuff that increases the sum-total of magic and wonder and joy and love and delight in the world.

You turn up the volume on everything gorgeous so it can't be ignored.

In conclusion

 

You're magic and I am too, and I love you.  I hope you'll join me and a bunch of other magic folks in the Dreamer's Tantra Facebook Group, where we talk about this kinda stuff.

 

Also, if you're ever feeling in pain or confused about life and magic, I make myself available to talk on the phone whenever.

Love,

Carolyn

 

images: ~rainyXskyz  and ~Lilianne on deviantart.com

How Do You Forgive: 7 Steps to Freedom

How do you forgive when you've been massively, relentlessly hurt? How do you forgive when your heart feels like it's been sliced into tiny bits and set on fire in a garbage heap?

You might be walking around feeling like a giant flaming wound of misery from the horror that was inflicted on you. Or. You might be experiencing resentment as a quiet background hum that fills your day with irritation and alienation.

Either way, you know you need to shift something.

How Do You Forgive

1. Notice how much it hurts to not be forgiving.

It's a heavy thing to carry around, all that non-forgiveness.  Let yourself feel the weight.

2. Imagine what it would feel like to be completely free from the anger and hurt you feel.

Really imagine it. Take five minutes to do this. Make it vivid. Go.

3. Consider the fact that you feeling angry and hurt is not doing anything to help anyone at all, ever.

In fact, it's probably cramping your style.  It's making you unhappy so you're probably being unpleasant and selfish, as unhappy people usually are.  You would be much more useful to all the rest of us if you felt free and at peace.

4. Remind yourself that just because you forgive, it doesn't mean you have to let the person who harmed you back into your life.

Forgiveness doesn't mean being a doormat.  Letting someone walk all over you isn't kind.  It hurts them because it enables them to be a jerk.  Forgiveness means harboring no ill will in your heart.  It means truly, earnestly, non-sarcastically wishing well for the person who hurt you.

To be explicit: this means not wishing that they go to hell, contract a debilitating disease, become famous in Hollywood or any other of the horrible fates that might befall one.

5.  Remind yourself that you've learned from what you've experienced.

You got the lesson, throughout your whole being.  Your pain taught you the lesson.  You've learned it, it's over.  You don't have to hold on to the suffering of unforgiveness in order to remember your lesson. It's in your mind and heart.  Trust your own intelligence.

You'll never run off and join the travelling carnival and change your name to Talulah again. You know better now.  It's not a good road.

6. Imagine the person that hurt you feeling ecstatically happy, at peace, loved and loving.

Imagine them feeling completely saturated with an abiding delight that cannot ever depart, that is unconditional, that is inalienable from their very being.

Imagine them in beautiful surroundings, doted on by loving people and adorable animals.  See them drinking hot chocolate next to a roaring hearth.

Notice that if they had truly felt this happy and fulfilled to begin with, they probably never would have hurt you.  They would have been too busy being ecstatically enraptured by flowers and cuddly kitties. Folks hurt other people because they're unhappy and not at peace.  Truly happy people hurt no one.

7. Imagine yourself feeling ecstatically happy, at peace, loved and loving.

See yourself in a state of utter relaxation, warmest goodness, utter joy.  Imagine that you're in beautiful surroundings, and you just feel great.  You feel great at such a deep level that you know how great you feel can never be shaken.

In Conclusion

That's it.  Keep doing this reflection every day, devoting lots of time to imagining the person who hurt you feeling happy and to you feeling utterly wonderful, too -- and you'll achieve the forgiveness you're after.

Not only that, but you'll just be happier in general.  And fun stuff will start to happen in your life- weird, cool synchronicities.  You'll get more done.  You'll sleep better. I'm not lying. Try it.

Forgiveness isn't something that happens when you just say, "I forgive him / her / myself." That only works for the very smallest of things, things that didn't even hurt you or offend you that much to begin with.

For stuff That's a Big Deal, you need to go deeper.  You need to engage your imagination to super-charge your good will.  Good will is the juice that makes forgiveness possible.

And the act of forgiving increases the amount of good will that you have.  And then you're better able to forgive, because you've got more juice.  And then things rock.

It's good ju-ju.

Posted on February 7, 2013 and filed under Forgiveness.

Creamy-Garlicky Tahini Kale with Roasted Eggplant - The Kale Cabbage Diet

So, I'm on Day 9 of my Kale-eating extravaganza, which I'm now doing warrior-style. This means that today I ate some oranges, a banana, a bunch of Creamy-Garlicky Tahini Kale and two pieces of baklava - which means life is pretty good and I'm also at a lovely 1500 calorie total.

Creamy-Garlicky Tahini Kale is all the wonders of the Mediterranean, made very nutrient-dense and yummy and put in your tummy.

Kale is both the epitome of beauty and scrumptiousness. Just like you, friend. If you make this recipe and like it, be sure to email me and tell me all about it: carolyngraceelliott@gmail.com.

Now, without further ado, I reveal to you the much-adored...

Creamy-Garlicky Tahini Kale with Roasted Eggplant

Serves 1 hungry kale warrior

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1/4 cup chopped canned tomatoes
  • 2 tbsps tahini
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1.5 tbsps crushed garlic
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • Sriracha chili sauce to taste
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Salt to taste

To Make

Heat your oven to 400.  Spray some non-stick cooking whatnot onto a baking pan, plop your eggplant therein, and insert into oven.  Blithely forget about eggplant for 40 minutes.

While eggplant bakes, heat broth, water, tomatoes, garlic and tahini altogether in your pan at a medium heat.  As this gets all hot and melty, stir it around to mix it all together.  Good.

Now pet your cat awhile, the eggplant is still baking. Optionally, check Facebook. Friend me while you're at it.

After the eggplant is done baking, take it out of the oven.  Gingerly and over-eagerly rip the thing open (careful! hot!) and scoop its creamy eggplant contents into your broth mixture.  Stir it all up.  Now rip your kale into bits.  Stir your kale around in the broth to make it get wet and steamy.  You might need to sprinkle some more water on it to make it steamier.  Now let that simmer for about 7 minutes until your kale is tender.

Now pile this lovely business atop your hot cooked quinoa.  Maybe stir it all together for a lovely porridge-y effect.  Douse liberally with Sriracha and lemon juice and salt.  Eat, and be merry.

For dessert, if you're also going warrior-style and have the calorie budget to spare, I highly recommend warming up some baklava from a little local bakery and topping it with clementine segments. Yay.

Calories (not including baklava!): about 600

 

 

What to do in life: notes for those who have failed and are incredibly depressed

 I want to congratulate you on your devastating failure.

YAY! You've utterly failed! YESSSSS!

I am completely serious and not trying to be mean. I am truly, really, honestly happy for you. I'm thrilled, in fact.

I'm thrilled because you're an adult and you have no idea what to do in life.  Oh, it's not like  you never knew what to do.  You once did.  But Your Best Plan completely did not work.  In fact, it not only didn't work, it blew up in your face just like your face was Hiroshima and your plan was the atom bomb.  Thanks a lot, Harry Truman.

Now you're living in the nuclear winter of your discontent. You bitterly regret all that has transpired. You might feel like harming yourself.  At best, you probably feel like laying in your bed and only getting up to microwave a Hot Pocket, shove it in your face, read gossip blogs, smoke cigarettes and call your mom while hysterically crying.  At least that's all I felt like doing for six weeks when it happened to me.

That's okay.  Have all the Hot Pockets you want. But don't harm yourself.  You're a precious jewel. I don't care if you've massively fucked up.  My favorite people are the ones who have massively fucked up.  They're the really interesting ones.

So instead of hating yourself this as a way of finding what to do in life:

1) Take a moment to appreciate your uncomfortable state of being really clueless about what to do in life.  It hurts. Horrifically.  I know.

But! The fact that you're open and curious now about how to live life has put you leagues ahead of most human beings.

2) Consider how much your original plan, the one that failed so painfully and spectacularly, centered all around the effort  to gain security and pleasure and power for yourself.

This effort is called "self-cherishing." It's the act of trying to gather things up to make yourself safe and pleased.

It's pretty much everyone's default plan. The thing is, it doesn't really work. Think of how your self-cherishing has put in you in conflict with other people, especially with people that you love, and how much pain this conflict has caused you.

It's true that some people half-assedly make self-cherishing sorta kinda seem to work their whole lives.  They never wind up in the writhing state of abject misery which you now occupy.  But the thing is, they never really get the giant light bulb of freedom to go off either.  The fact that you're in total despair means you're unbelievably close, closer than all the middlingly okay people! - to genuine, deep awesomeness.

4)  Understand that you don't have to continue with your self-cherishing.

I know it doesn't feel that way.  It doesn't feel like you have an option way because you're addicted to it.  Self-cherishing is your smack, my junkie friend.  And you've overdosed.  It's either get clean now, die ingloriously, or dwell in derelection.

So know that you really can try something else.  Something very radically different.

It's called "other-cherishing" and it's the act of devoting yourself to the well-being of others rather than to the service of your own pleasure and comfort.

Hmmmmmmmm. I can tell if you're anything like me you're probably not too keen on this idea.

5) Don't feel bad that your mind immediately recoils at the thought of other-cherishing.

My mind recoiled intensely from it for years. "But I'm a human being, too! Who's going to cherish me?  If I devote myself to serving others, I'll just be taken advantage of and nothing good will be left for me.  Besides, there's way too many people out there, human suffering is too overwhelming.  There's nothing I can do that would truly benefit everyone."

6) Contemplate this answers to your objection: if you give up self-cherishing, the whole universe will cherish you.

The universe freaking LOVES people who are earnestly surrendering their self-cherishing more than preteen girls love Justin Bieber.  And that is a lot of love, guys.

Why? Because that's what life, the universe, and everything have wanted you to do all along.  Once you start to give up self-cherishing, everything else you do becomes massively easier and takes on much greater, more satisfying meaning. Synchronicities start whirling and the blessings start raining down.  They were there waiting for you.  But in the past they were too repelled by your grasping and greed.  Grasping and greed are repulsive.  They repel good fortune.

And also, actually, there is something you can do to benefit everyone.  You can liberate yourself from your own self-cherishing. I know I may be sounding repetitive here, but listen. This is massively, hugely beneficial.  It's so beneficial that the human race joyously celebrates for thousands of years people who have done it, people like Jesus and Mary Magdalene and the Buddha and Rumi and Mirabai and St. Francis.   You can wake up from your nightmare of chasing security and pleasure.  As soon as you do this, you'll no longer generate conflicts everywhere you go.  Instead you'll create joy and be a place of kind refuge and calm for others.

To understand this, just consider how much pain others have given you when they've behaved in self-centered, self-cherishing ways and trampled over your feelings.  Your own self-cherishing has caused at least that much pain for others.  If you relinquish it, you'll stop causing that pain.  You won't be irritable and easily offended.  Instead, you'll be welcoming and warm to be around.  Folks won't have to tip-toe on egg shells around you.  They'll feel honored and loved in your presence.  And this means there's a good chance that they will be inspired to surrender their own self-cherishing just by knowing you.  They'll succeed, and then they'll go around inspiring others to do the same.  Everyone will get freer and freer, safer and safer, happier and happier.  It's a virtuous circle.

Literally, you can deeply contribute to everyone waking up from the nightmare.

7) Consider that your belief that you can't give up self-cherishing isn't true.

I certainly used to believe that giving it up was impossible- I could see that it would be theoretically great to be able to let go of my self-centeredness, but I just had no notion how to do that.

At some level, I didn't really want to learn because I still thought I could make self-cherishing work for me.  Well, that turned out to be assuredly not the case.

Happily for you and for me, the processes for ending self-cherishing do exist if you've had enough of your confused pain and you're willing to try something radically different.  The four immeasurables cultivation and tonglen are a great place to start and can go a very long way to rubbing out your self-cherishing. Try them yourself.

8) Seriously.  Tell yourself that every day for a month you'll do four immeasurables cultivation and the meditation on exchanging yourself with others.

And then do it.  Make it a higher priority than watching cute cat videos on youtube.

9) The more you do those practices, the more clear everything else will become.

Your whole mental and emotional make up will shift.  Your perception will no longer be so distorted.  Your creativity will activate like never before.  You'll know what to do.

10) Write to me and tell me how it's going: sweetsongofjoy at gmail dot com.  I would love to know.

 

 

How to use metta to both disarm your internal meanness and also to get drunk

The funny thing about metta practice is that in attempting to radiate boundless goodwill, I discover just how much ill-will I've got in my heart.

It's a lot.

I can have barriers of ill-will built up against even my dearest friends - and not know it unless I deliberately try sending them metta!

These aren't giant resentments – I tend to be aware of those – but they are places where my heart has unwittingly contracted and shrunk because  my ego took offense to something my friend casually said.

Metta vs. Your Internal Meanness

Similarly, in giving metta to myself, I begin to gain insight into just how much of my usual internal monologue (filled with worries, self-criticisms, doubts – all the tastiest delicacies of self-involved neurosis) is actually motivated by ill-will towards yours truly.

Here's how this works: I'm sitting still, earnestly wishing "May I be happy" - not "May I get filthy rich so I can be happy" or "May I be transcendently perfect so I can be happy" - but just, you know - happy. With no conditions attached.  Just wishing this for myself starts to make me feel happy - and then I hear the thoughts that are like, "Oh, but Carolyn, you did this and this awful thing, you really don't deserve to feel happy..." or "You're almost 29 and practically penniless. How can you have any self-respect? Really, you're pathetic....."  and it becomes very obvious: those thoughts do not wish me to be happy.  They wish me to feel bad.  They lack metta. They're the voice of what my friend Andy has always called "Mean Carolyn," my inner relentless critic.

Mean Carolyn sucks.

Luckily, in the work of cultivation, I can quiet her down.  I just need to send my good wishes to myself louder than those harsh thoughts. "Doesn't matter what I did or what I lack! - may I be happy, goddamnit!"  And then – oddly enough – my smile broadens and my cheeks glow. The feeling of happiness continues and gets stronger.

The Hard Liquor of Benevolence

That's the other weird thing about metta practice - you discover just how much joy there is in the act of making positive wishes. It wouldn't seem that those little namby-pambly phrases of niceness ("May you be happy, May you be well, May you be free from suffering....") and the act of visualizing yourself and others in states of happiness would pack such a giddy punch - but after awhile it certainly does.

I've found that it's entirely possible to get drunk on good wishes.  And I mean tipsy, loopy, kissing-strangers-can't-stop-singing-show-tunes drunk. It's rad. And the neat thing is, there's no hang-over. Also, it's free.

I think this propensity for giddy drunkenness to arise is one of the reasons why teachers like Ken McLeod in his in-depth teaching on the four immeasurables recommend balancing loving-kindness meditation with compassion cultivation.  Because unless you're actively sensitizing yourself to the suffering of others, you might get so happy with your loving-kindness that you drunkenly overlook that suffering and become boorish.

Fascinating, yes?

So what's your experience with metta like so far?

 

image: [mnen]

 

 

 

How to Be Creative

There's two of you and only one really knows how to be creative Learning how to be creative readily, consistently, and easily comes from understanding something a little shocking: there's two of you.

Under the general umbrella of "you" there's two personalities, each with their own perceptions and super-powers.  When one is in control, you feel awful.  When the other is at the fore-front, you feel highly delightable and incredibly fun.

The Doubting Self

One of you is your doubting self.  Also known (by me) as "the foul miasma of vast self-rejection" and by enlightened folks like Eckhart Tolle as "the pain body."  You know you're in your doubting self when you feel worried, pre-occupied, rather miserable, hopeless, and disconnected from the people around you.

 

Your doubting self perceives the world as a hostile, competitive, alienating place and talks to you in a voice that's like a cross between Judge Judy and Rush Limbaugh.  She resists everything that happens in your life and the world that isn't up to her standards and walks around feeling rotten and self-righteous.

She's mean, loud, belligerent, judgmental and afraid.  Your doubting self has super-powers of paranoia and despair.  She's widely regarded by much of our society as completely reasonable and normal, even though she's just kind of a jerk.

The Magic Self

The other one of you is your magic self, also known as your genius or your soul or your heart (it's a tricky business, sorting out the difference between "heart" and "soul" although I sure have tried- they're essentially terms for the same energy, with slightly different connotations).

Your magic self sees the world as a loving den of possibility, a place where miracles can happen and where tons of love can be effortlessly given and received.  To her, the world is basically friendly and supportive.   She doesn't feel the need to resist or argue with anything that is.

She intuitively knows what to do to guide you to the best outcomes in your life.  She knows how to solve problems and invent wondrous works of art and practical usefulness.

Your magic self, in other words, has the super-power of creativity in its highest sense - what the Transcendentalist philosophers used to call Imagination (with a capital "I"!) - it's the kind of genius inventiveness that brings stuff into the world which is full of love  and beauty - not just clever nonsense or utility.

The Whole Trick of Creativity

The whole trick of being able to bring forth art that's richly meaningful or practical solutions that work in a deep, holistic way is to learn how to occupy your magic self much more than your doubting self.

That's it.  Your magic self knows what to do. It's just a matter of letting her live through you.

Yet this is a process that can take some time.  I'm perpetually learning it myself.  The thing is, I've gotten way better at it than I used to be.  How much way better? Well, in a year I wrote a novel, a dissertation, a book of poetry, a book on creativity that's soon-to-be-published, launched a business, helped organize a national conference and threw some really rad parties.

I don't say that to brag. I want to emphasize that I used to spend all of my time chain-smoking and watching Battlestar Galactica and crying (I have multiple witnesses to attest to this, also known as my former room mates). I'm wanting to emphasize that it's possible to becoming astoundingly productive when you start living more in your magic self.

A Sneaky Way to Embody Your Magic Self: Drinking Elixirs

Try this when you're feeling sorely miserable and need to switch gears:

1. Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee.  Make sure it's nice and hot!

2. Hold the mug in your hands.  Watch the steam rise from the cup.

3. Quietly dub the liquid in your cup with a highly improbable, poetical name: "You, coffee, are now the molten lava at the center of the earth." Or, "You, chamomile tea, are now the amber blood of angels."

4.  Sip your highly improbable beverage, all the while imagining it taking its poetical effect on your system.  The angel's blood perhaps makes you feel elevated, the molten lava maybe makes you feel hot and invincible.

5. Proceed with what you've got to work on, now buoyed by some strange magic.

Why this works

Look, it's hard to stay miserable while drinking the blood of angels.  This little exercise moves you out of your rut of ugly "reality" and into the realm where your power lays: in play and metaphor and wonder.  We all too often forfeit our inventiveness because the world seems to have been invented already.  But that's just how things stay boring.

Want more?

We'll be doing a lot more to get into our magic selves and get seriously creative and productive at the Honeybutter House for Wayward Geniuses happening in Pittsburgh in November 2012.  If you're a wayward genius and you want to find out more, you should email me about it now: sweetsongofjoy@gmail.com.

 

Love,

Carolyn

 

Posted on September 23, 2012 and filed under Creativity.

Nonresistance: practicing ending my addiction to suffering

One of the primary ways in which I get the foul miasma of self-rejection to descend upon me is by imagining that there are things in this world I need to resist or avoid. I look out onto the horizon of existence and I see possibilities I don't like: sickness, failure, poverty, grief, death, the negative judgment of other people (far worse than death, according to certain parts of my psyche).

And then I think - "must resist! must defend! must refuse!"

This works me up into a contrary state.  A state of internal resistance to life.  In which I take myself Way Too Seriously.  In which I'm prone to reject myself for the very reason that I'm not Invincible Enough.  (Screw good enough, I want to be Invincible Enough!)  Like all of us, I'm vulnerable.

The thing about the contrary state that I use to reject my vulnerable mortality is that it's rigid.  It feels brittle, it feels about-to-be-broken by every sling and arrow of outrageous fortune.  When I'm in it I feel like a pasteboard dart target that gets punctured through her very core every time life throws something.

Today, I'm interested in easing out of contrariness.  I'm doing this by deciding to give no internal resistance to the possibilities of life that I don't like.  Why? Because that internal resistance is suffering - and I've accepted out (at least intellectually) that suffering is not a requirement.

Suffering, like coffee, isn't a necessity of life.  It's just something I'm addicted to because I imagine it benefits me.  It seems to benefit me in that it

  • Keeps me doing the thing that almost everyone else seems to agree is the thing to do - i.e., suffer - and therefore, gives me a weird sense of closeness with the rest of humanity.  Just like smoking with a bunch of smokers after a meeting seems to give me a sense of closeness with the smokers.
  • Promises that it will protect me somehow from the things I fear. Like, if only I resist this hard enough and make a fuss about it, then it won't happen.
  • Gives me a sense of importance.  Like, wow, see how much I suffer? I must be really important, with lots of important things to suffer about!

At times, these benefits seem highly worthwhile.  But then they come with side-effects.  Side-effects like seeing the world as a rotten place and being miserable and being unable to do anything creative or fun because I'm paralyzed in rigidity.

Today, I'm interested in being Lady Bountiful instead of a pasteboard dart target.  Lady Bountiful is my wiser, fuller version of myself. I saw her once on an Edwardian Christmas card.  She has rosy cheeks and carries huge armfuls of cheery presents into an orphanage.  She creates bounty and joy in the dark places instead of cowering away from those dark places.  She rocks.

So what are you resisting today? And what would it feel like to drop that resistance and just be in your life with all its coal soot and undarned stockings?

 

 

Posted on September 12, 2012 and filed under Addiction.

Dissipating the foul miasma of vast self-rejection

The objective correlative of suck The foul miasma of vast self-rejection is, of course, not a literal miasma but rather a mode of consciousness.  The miasma is the objective correlative of a sucky, hopeless view of the world.

J. Alfred Prufrock experiences the miasma as a "yellow fog" in T.S. Eliot's love song of self-doubt:

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains, Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys, Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap, And seeing that it was a soft October night Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

My miasma doesn't behave much like a house cat, though.  It behaves more like a wild wolf of slobbering terror.

Bad trips - always available!

When I'm in the miasma, my lovely life looks like a disaster resembling the scary drunken circus in Pinnochio.  It's not actually a disaster.  It's concretely just fine.  But our minds do create our reality in the sense that if I'm feeling misery and fear I will see misery and cause for fear every where. That's part of the difficulty of having a really strong genius.  The genius is always creative; it creates worlds. When the miasma is on me,  I'll see only the very worst in myself, in people, and in the world, and it'll be magnified 10,000 times.  It's very literally like a bad trip.

The thing most people don't realize is that you never need to take psychoactive drugs to have a bad trip. Or a good trip!  Our brains produce psychoactive chemicals all the time in response to our beliefs and interpretive decisions about the world.  I have some traumatic beliefs in me, and when those get triggered, the bad trip comes on.

Half the key to getting out of a bad miasmic trip is just to realize, this is a bad trip.  This is in my mind.  I can see this in a different way and all the yuck can disappear.  And by "disappear" I mean become no longer a problem in my consciousness.   All of reality can exist in its realness without me having to wage a special internal battle against any part of it.

I only feel like the yuck in other people and in the world is a problem for me to battle when I'm beset by the yuck myself.  The yuck (pain, aggression, delusion) has no intrinsic power.  It can be healed.  And I can't heal it when I'm obsessed with seeing it everywhere because I'm identified with it in myself.

I'm right now in the process of climbing out of the miasma.

For me, this is a process of truth-telling.  Queer Jesus said, "you will know the truth and the truth will set you free."

Not just any kind of truth works to dissipate the miasma, though.  To do that job I need uncut, high-grade, extremely potent truth.

Here's some:

We're all fundamentally good and that no one deserves to feel guilty or fearful at anytime, ever.

Even if you've committed  violent crimes - the wisdom to make amends for those crimes can only come to a consciousness that accepts its past confusion, recognizes its own inherent goodness, makes itself open to grace and becomes capable of loving action.  Self-hatred and self-rejection don't facilitate that process.  They make truth-telling too painful - which means we can't bear to acknowledge that we've been wrong and so we stay in denial and stay deluded and stay likely to commit more harm.

That's why Queer Jesus was so into telling everyone that they've been forgiven and they can forgive others.  Because non-forgiveness doesn't help. 

There actually is no cause for fear or suffering.  Those things are causeless illusions that only perpetuate themselves.

A way to stop the spread of contagious miasmic miserableness is to decide to remember and embody the truth of my profound innocence and everyone else's.  This means I can forgive.  I can make the decision to see myself and everyone else gently, with eyes of love.

I find it helps me to renew my inner commitment and decision that I can be joyful and free all the time, no matter what's going on in my life.  No matter if I have bills I don't know how to pay or people angry with me or if I've lost something I felt attached to.  It just doesn't matter, as Bill Murray likes to say.  I've decided that I'm worthy of happiness of the spirit all the time, without condition, and so are you, O Lovelight.

The minute I think there could ever be any real reason not to be joyful and at peace is the minute I become vulnerable to the miasma.  It's like opening a window in Venice when tuberculosis is in the air. Because even if nothing is "wrong" at this moment  - what if something could go wrong? And then I'd be unhappy! Better start being unhappy right now, in anticipation of my possible future unhappiness!

Best, actually, to decide that unhappiness is totally unnecessary.

I can acknowledge loss, address problems, correct my mistakes - all without having to feel heavy and guilty and awful.

So if you're feeling the miasma right now - start waving your hands around and jumping up and down to get it off of you.  It's just a bad trip.  It's not real.  You're perfect and you always will be.  You deserve to be cuddled up into a big blanket and given nice hot tea.  You're not a failure, you're not awful.  You're a magnificently strange human creature who makes the world better just by breathing.

What is Love